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Us 28, America 26, Washington 23, Heller 20, California 20, Texas 17, Feinstein 13, Paul Ryan 10, Cornyn 9, United States 9, U.s. 8, D.c. 6, Francis 6, Emmanuel 6, Ms. Klobuchar 5, Mr. Whitehouse 5, Franken 5, Illinois 5, Arizona 5, Hawaii 5,
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  CSPAN    Public Affairs    News  News/Business.  

    March 14, 2013
    10:00 - 1:00pm EDT  

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structure is threatened with physical elimination. it will be an uphill task, but i do agree with you that pakistan must bring its laws in conformity with the rest of the civilized world. host: husain haqqani, you can find his peace in foreign affairs. it's called "breaking up is not hard to do." thank you so much for speaking with us. it guest: a pleasure. host: that's all for washington journal this morning. naupa before the house. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] eaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., march 14, 2013. i hereby appoint the honorable tom mcclintock to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 3, 2013, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority
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leaders for morning hour ebate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes each, event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from california, mrs. capps, for five minutes. mr. speaker, i rise today to call attention to the lombing crisis of climate change -- looming crisis of climate change. the effects are diverse but they all impact american lives and livelihoods and we are realizing and witnessing these occurrences in real time. extreme weather events like hurricane sandy, severe drought and major flodding are becoming more frequent -- flooding are becoming more frequent and
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growing more intense. sandy alone caused at least $50 billion in damages, killed dozens of americans and up ended the lives of millions more. but sandy was only one of 11 separate billion-dollar extreme weather events last year. and not only are things getting worse each time, but with these vents they're occurring more frequent now than even a decade ago. and the costs of all these can stast row fees, which are borne by the taxpayers, are escalating. we enacted over $60 billion in emergency aid for all those impacted by sandy. who knows how much the next catastrophe will cost. mr. speaker, we cannot sit back and wait for the next hurricane sandy to devastating american lives and property, especially in these tight america times. i think we can all agree that reducing the costs of extreme
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weather events is a good idea. and one of the most effective ways to reduce these costs is to plan ahead. regardless of what you think about its causes, extreme weather is happening, and because we cannot guarantee these events will not happen in the future, we can and we must do more to prepare. imagine the lives, infrastructure, homes and businesses that could have been saved if we better anticipated and prepared for the impacts of these events before they occurred. by smarter planning and building more resilient infrastructure, we can reduce storm damages. we can lessen economic impacts and we can save lives. the adaptation measures also create good quality american jobs that can help grow our economy for the future. it's a win-win that we should all support. that's why last month i reintroduced two bills that would help our local
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communities implement these cost saving measures. one is the coastal state climate change planning act which would provide for coastal states who wish to carry out adaptation projects in order to prepare for the impacts of climate change. and another bill is the water infrastructure resiliencey and sustainability act, supporting states wishing to update their aging storm, waste and drinking water systems in order to adapt for climate change. these bills would help our local communities to plan and prepare for the impacts of climate change and increased extreme weather. our communities deserve protections from these potentially devastating events, and we have a responsibility to help. mr. speaker, we have a choice. we can continue to spend tens of billions of dollars annually on emergency aid packages that will only grow in size and
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quantity or we can spend a fraction of that on planning smarter and building more resilient infrastructure that creates jobs and strengthens our economy for years to come. i think the choice is clear. let's choose to protect our coastlines and to for theify our infrastructure. let's choose -- and to fortify our infrastructure. let's choose to plan ahead to protect lives, to protect property and the federal government itself from the impacts of extreme weather. i urge my colleagues to join me in taking action on this critical issue and to help our communities to prepare for the impacts of climate change. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: mr. speaker, saturday was a day that lameer middle
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school students from houston, texas, had been looking forward to for a long time. they were going to get to see where the president of the united states lives. this was even more exciting because it was the first time in five years that they had been successful in scheduling a tour of the white house. then last week, two days before they were set to go on their tour, they got the bad news. they were no longer welcome in the people's house. mr. speaker, i know one of the parents of the kids at laneer middle school. here's what she said. it's disappointing because it's particularly disappointing to me because i think it teaches the kids a bad lesson of not keeping your word. that's bad for our kids. harvin moore, a trustee from the houston independent school district, wrote the white house when he got the bad news and here's what he said. next week 80 students from laneer middle school in texas will be spending spring break
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touring the nation's capitol. they have been planning the trip for over a year. they have completed the background checks, received confirmation that they would be welcomed at the white house. and as you can imagine they are very excited about that. now we find ourselves in a situation and position of having to explain to the students that their plans have been abruptly canceled and that they will not be welcomed at the white house after all. frankly, that's a hard thing to do as we don't understand the reasons ourselves. we don't understand why, out of a budget of $1.6 billion, the secret service's budget, the administration believes that 1/20 of 1% that's required to fund the white house tours is the first thing to be canceled. we don't understand why the administration would choose to cancel the program that touches the public the most and return
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from truly a minuscule budget savings. we don't understand, mr. president, why you have chosen to disinvite schoolchildren from their white house. the first lady has referred to the white house as the people's house. i agree with her. it is the people's house. it is our house. mr. moore continued in his letter, one parent described having to tell her son that he was no longer welcome at the white house. the word sequester doesn't mean anything to this student. first lady michelle obama said that the white house is our house. well, it doesn't feel like it any more. mr. speaker, laneer students from texas are not alone. thousands of students nationwide are gearing up for spring break, the cherry blossom festival are a few weeks away. these trips require planning,
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time and, yes, even money. bake sales, car washes, parents work were off of all involved so kids could come to washington to tour the white house, but the president unfortunately has punished the people for the sake of a few nickels. perhaps the white house forgot what the first lady has said which is posted on the homepage of whitehouse.gov, quote, this is really what the white house is all about. it's the people's house. well, mr. speaker, if this is true, the president should take the padlocks off the white house doors, put the welcome mat back on the front porch because america's kids should not be evicted from their white house. mr. speaker, the open door philosophy of the white house is a uniquely american idea, where the people of the country can come see where the president of the united states, the most powerful person in the world, actually lives. this is uniquely american.
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you go to other countries, whether they're democracies or not, they don't let you near the home of where the head leader lives, but only in america have we done this. so, mr. speaker, i would encourage the president to keep his word, let the people back in, and if students come to washington, d.c., they should know that the u.s. capitol is open for business, that members of congress, their staff, the tour guides at the capitol visitor center will be glad to take them through the capitol. in fact, earlier this morning there were about 70 kids from westchester, new york, seated here, getting a history lesson from one of our parliamentarian. mr. speaker, the capitol is open but neither the white house nor the u.s. capitol should ever close its doors and ban the people from the people's houses. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.
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the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. barletta, for five minutes. mr. rletta: thank you, speaker. mr. speaker, i rise to talk about the important compelling issue of illegal immigration. we have heard from the gang of eight in the senate and now the gang of eight in the house. when we talk about legal immigration as a mayor, i know what it did to my city. aside from the crime and violence, it took a great toll on the economic vitality of the population. our population grew by 50%, but our tax base stayed the same. people who are here legally, especially the new american citizens, are looking for jobs and they are scarce. 22 million americans are out of
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work, and now the proposal is to waive the carrot of citizenship to millions more. and when we were talking about giving amnesty to millions, maybe 20 million illegal aliens, how much more scarce will those jobs become? mr. speaker, we have heard these proposals before. in 1986 we said that if we granted amnesty there would only be about 1.5 million people who would be included. in truth it turned out to be twice that amount. we were also told that it would never happen again. our borders would be secure and this problem would never occur again. in truth that was not true. so now 27 years later our borders still aren't secure and here we are doing this all over again.
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well, we got fooled once. by news reports we were told there were 11 million illegal aliens in this nation right now. by using 1986 as a yardstick we can guess by offering amnesty there might be twice that many. mr. speaker, we were told in 1986 that none of this would happen but it did. now we're talking about brand new expenses at a time when we really have no money to spare. this means social security, medicare, unemployment compensation, obamacare, welfare, food stamps, you name it. the heritage foundation projects that currently illegal immigration today costs us $55 billion a year or $550 billion over 10 years. illegal immigrants today receive $55 billion more in government benefits than they pay in taxes based on the 2010
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census. worse, after so-called amnesty, the net deficit resulting from illegal immigrants will be $75 billion a year or 3/4 of $1 trillion over 10. now, we have no guarantee that these millions of new legalized aliens will not be on the public social programs. nothing in any of these proposals from these gangs or the white house can convince me otherwise. all told, the heritage foundation projects that if that's true it will mean $2.5 trillion in new costs to the taxpayers over the next 20 years. now, mr. speaker, i submit that in this time when we are looking for every dollar to save, we should not be giving away the bank at the same time that our borders are not secure and 22 million americans are
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out of work. we should be talking about border security first. there should not and cannot be a discussion of amnesty until we secure our borders first. thank you for your time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield back. if no other members seek recognition. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house
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>> so i urge a no vote. >> if i may respond briefly. as i said i respect the distinguished senator from california, but i would refer her again to the testimony of gale trotter, who testified before the committee that these guns are a great equalizer, including the use of an ar-15, which would be prohibited by this act. that should be before the committee. i note that the vice president has also apparently believes that a handgun is insufficient for self-defense because he's advocated use of a shotgun on at least one other occasion. i also ask mr. chairman to make part of the record a listing of
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nine separate incidents of people defending themselves with assault weapons that would be prohibited by this legislation. >> no further discussion, the senator from illinois. >> just very quickly, i would also like to include in the record this morning's "chicago tribune" story where the police officers in the city of chicago in east garfield park shot to death a 58-year-old man who refused to drop an automatic assault weapon which he pulled on the policeman, certainly not a weapon which police often carry but now face from criminals on the street with regularity. >> mr. chairman, just concluding, i would say that the underlying bill exempts retired police officers, and the rationale for that, which i support, is they can use their weapons. they are trained in these weapons. they can use them for self-defense. why we would deny other american citizens the right to
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legitimately use these weapons for self-defense is -- escapes me. >> i think there's a larger issue here that we ought to think about, and what senator cornyn is trying to do is protect constitutional rights, and i think everybody's trying to put the burden on senator cornyn to do that. the burden ought to be on those people that are trying to limit constitutional rights. >> the clerk, call the roll. >> ms. feinstein? >> no. >> mr. shumer. >> no by proxy. >> mr. whitehouse. >> no by proxy. >> ms. klobuchar. >> no. >> mr. coons. >> no by proxy. >> mr. blumenthal. >> no. >> ms. hiono. >> no. >> mr. hatch. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. graham. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. lee. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. cruz. >> aye.
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>> mr. flake. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. chairman. >> no. >> mr. chairman. >> it is eight yeas, 10 nays. >> senator schumer. senator schumer will be recorded no in person. senator cornyn, you have the floor. >> i call up amendment 13116 and ask for its consideration. >> no objection. it's before the committee. >> this amendment would allow persons who have obtained a protection order, which is actually a broader definition than just merely a protective order as ordinarily -- ordinarily thought of. this would allow people who've obtained a protection order as defined by the violence against women act to obtain and possess the personal self-defense weapons prohibited by this legislation. the national coalition against domestic violence estimates that 1.3 million a year women
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are traumatized by domestic violence, and that one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. when a sexual assault statistics are added to this estimate, the numbers are staggering. the most vulnerable of these women, the protection order is a living symbol of their struggle and a certification of the real threat of danger they and their families must live with every day. and we should ensure that at the very least these law-abiding americans are able to own and possess the very tools necessary to protect themselves from becoming a tragic statistic. so i'd ask my colleagues to support this amendment which would allow individuals who've obtained a protection order as defined by the violence against women act to obtain and possess these self-defense weapons. >> i would urge a no vote. again, in my view, there's no strong evidence that these weapons are used for self-defense, nor do i believe
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you need clips, drums or ammunition feeding devices of more than 10 bullets for self-defense. what senator biden said is -- if you really want a weapon use a .12 gauge shotgun. a shotgun is mott an assault weapon. we've demonstrated where these assault weapons can have different slides put in there which essentially make them act like fully automatic weapons. these weapons are generally able to be sprayed fire. i think we'll see more of these amendments. is an effort to nip it and tuck it and create exception after exception. i really resist this effort. i urge a no vote. >> clerk will call the roll. >> mrs. feinstein. >> no. >> mr. schumer. >> no. >> mr. whitehouse. >> no by proxy. >> ms. klobuchar. >> no by proxy. >> mr. franken. >> no. >> mr. coons.
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>> no by proxy. >> mr. blumenthal. >> no. >> ms. hirono. >> no. >> mr. hatch. >> no. >> mr. sessions. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. cornyn. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. lee. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. cruz. >> aye. >> mr. chairman. >> no. >> mr. chairman, the votes are eight yeas and 10 nays. >> the amendment fails. not necessarily because of this last amendment. i was thinking of some of the discussions of what kind of firepower people need in their homes. one of the discussions sounded almost like somebody had been one to these movies, the zombie takeovers. i've always been perfectly satisfied in my .45 i have at home.
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others too. even we have people escaping from prison announcing they were going to kill me, i felt pretty comfortable with that. i didn't feel necessary to shoot up my neighborhood with a semiautomatic assault weapon. i guess depends on how good a shot they are. senator cornyn. >> mr. chairman, we certainly won't ask you to inventory your arsenal that you maintain at your home in vermont. >> we will lose a quorum. >> before senator cornyn speaks, in response to what you said, it seems to me you're raising the question about the firepower that a person ought to have, maybe to protect their home, isn't the rule ought to be that you would have the firepower commensurate with possible aagreesors, what they might have? >> zombie assault is a
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different thing. go ahead, senator cornyn. >> if i may ask before going to my next amendment just ask the senator from california, what's the purpose of the exception of retired police officers in the bill? >> well, the reason for retired police officers is that generally they do maintain their weapon. they do keep their weapon. the retired police felt strongly and this is a problem for them if they're going to re-- you're going to remove weapons for them. in the crafting of the bill, we obviously made certain compromises and made certain changes and that was one that we made. >> mr. chairman, i'd call up my amendment 13118. >> without objection, that's before the committee. senator cornyn has the floor. >> mr. chairman, this amendment would allow residents of counties that are on the
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southwestern border to have self-defense weapons as prohibited by this legislation. as we know across our border to the south transnational criminal organizations are equipped with fully automatic military-style weapons and trained in military tactics and they're committing hundreds of thousands of acts of violence every year. these organizations have also expanded their footprint to the united states through drug trafficking and human trafficking. these cartels are dangerous as are the gangs that support their operations. and we know that they are operating along the southwestern border. i cannot in good conscience tell my constituents that the federal government is going to deny them the freedom to defend their families from these transnational criminal organizations, and i'd ask my colleagues to support the amendment.
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>> if i may respond. >> senator feinstein. >> thank you, again. this is another way to create a nip and a tuck. i would like to point out to the body that the bill contains nearly 100 pages of weapons by make and model that are exempted. there are plenty of weapons out there. the whole point of this bill is to reduce over time the supply, the possession, the transfer and the sale of military-style weapons. and anyone that has a concern that their weapon is affected need only look at the bill and you'll see most likely your weapon is exempted by name, make and model. and that is from everything from handguns to center filed rifles and on and on. so i'd like to make that point.
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i'd urge a no vote. >> could i speak, please? >> certainly. >> i think this brings up a bigger issue. i support the amendment. but i think we ought to remind everybody that when it comes to the citizens of anyplace in the united states, either local government is going to support them or protect them or the federal government. in the case of immigration, it's quite clear that that's a responsibility of the federal government to protect our borders, secure our borders and protect our sovereignty. now, in the southwest of the united states we have people being murdered by the very example -- or the reason for his amendment. the federal government's not doing their jobs or these folks wouldn't be getting across the border. so arizona steps in, some legislation, saying, well, the federal government's not protecting our people under the
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10th amendment, state responsibility of protecting the safety and welfare of their citizens step in to do it. you know what, the federal government starts suing the state of arizona. if the state -- if the federal government was doing its job, arizona wouldn't have to step in, wouldn't have to spend all this money. so senator cornyn comes up with his amendment. if the federal government isn't going to do it, are we going to allow the individual citizens to do it? if the governments don't it, the second amendment is the right of self-protection. we ought to respect that right. we ought to give the people the power to do it if they want to protect themselves if the state government isn't doing it and the state government wouldn't have to do it if the federal government was doing its job. and then instead of suing the state of arizona, the president of the united states ought to be stepping in there and say we will work with you to protect your citizens. >> mr. chairman.
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>> if i may respond not so much to that point but to the general line of argument that i think is raised by these amendments which is a self-defense amendment, and i respect senator cornyn's desire to provide defense or the means for self-defense to victims of domestic violence and to victims of assault. and i think we all do. the question is what kind of weapons are necessary or best suited for that defense. and obviously the second amendment guarantees every individual, regardless of whether he or she is a victim of any crime, sexual assault or otherwise, to self-defense. the heller decision makes that point clear. i think the point is what kind of weapon provides the best or
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safest means. the use of these weapons were primarily for criminal purposes. it's an offensive weapon. it's a military-style weapon that was designed and made for our military to kill people and it may be used to kill people for self-defense. but the experience is that self-defense is best done by other kinds of weapons which are commonly used at first range. u.s. attorney john walsh said that shootings for self-defense occurs at close range. a 10-round gun would help. and a chief said the same thing, that these assault weapons are commonly used by criminals often against police, not by people in self-defense. so i think the nature of the weapon is at issue here and
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assault weapons, because they are so extraordinarily damaging, they cause multiple wounds, more serious wounds, often with police officers as their victim, are simply appropriate to be back banned with the very well-defined and explicit approach that this proposal takes and so i think these amendments, while they may be well-intentioned and i agree their purpose in providing a means of self-defense to victims of these horrendous crimes, can be done better by other types of weapon. >> i would respond to my friend and say, why would we want to make an otherwise law-abiding citizen into a criminal if they want to use these weapons to defend themselves and their families? i see that as the effect of
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this legislation. i also believe that if the criminals that you allude to, and as a former attorney general, you know this area as well as anybody, if the criminal element is going to be using weapons like this, why would you deny for defensive purposes otherwise law-abiding citizens to be able to use an equivalent firepower to defend themselves? it's not much satisfaction to say that criminals are going to have access to the whole range of weapons that they will have access to because they don't care about the laws that are passed. and we're going to give the american citizen a pea shooter to defend themselves with. i think it's inadequate. you are criminalizing otherwise law-abiding citizens inappropriately, in my view. >> mr. chairman. >> senator cruz. >> if i might pose a question to the senior senator from california.
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in your response to senator cornyn, you mentioned that there are some 100 pages of the bill that specify particular firearms if this bill were passed congress would have deemed prohibited. it seems to me that all of us should begin as our foundational document with the constitution. and the second amendment in the bill of rights provides the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. the term the right of the people. it's found in the first amendment. the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition their government for grievances, it's found in the fourth amendment, the right of the people to be found unreasonable from searches and seizures. and the question i pose to the senator from california, would she deem it consistent with the bill of rights for congress to engage in the same endeavor that we are contemplating doing
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with the second amendment in the context of the first or fourth amendment, namely, would she consider it constitutional for congress to specify that the first amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that congress has deemed outside the protection of the bill of rights? likewise, would she think that the fourth amendment's protection against searches and seizures could properly apply only to the following specified individuals and not to the individuals that congress has deemed outside the protection of the bill of rights? >> would the senator yield for a question? >> let me just make a couple of points in response. one, i'm not a sixth grader. senator, i've been on this committee for 20 years. i was a mayor for nine years. i walked in, i saw people shot. i've looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. i've seen the bullets that implode. in sandy hook, youngsters were dismembered. look, there are other weapons.
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i've been up -- i'm not a lawyer, but after 20 years i've been up close and personal to the constitution. i have great respect for it. this doesn't mean that weapons of war and the heller decision clearly points out three exceptions, two of which are pertinent here. and so i -- you know, it's fine you want to lecture me on the constitution. i appreciate it. just know i've been here for a long time. i've passed on a number of bills. i've studied the constitution myself. i am reasonably well educated, and i thank you for the lecture. incidentally, this does not prohibit -- you use the word prohibit. it exempts 2,271 weapons. isn't that enough for the people in the united states? do they need a about a --
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bazooka? do they need military weapons to kill people in close contact? i don't think so. i come from a different place than you do. i respect your views. i ask you to respect my views. >> mr. chairman -- >> senator is out of time. >> mr. chairman, i can't add anything to that. >> senator cruz. >> mr. chairman, i would ask yet another question of the senior senator from california. i think nobody doubts her sincerity or her passion and yet at the same time i would note that she chose not to answer the question that i asked. which is, in her judgment, would it be consistent with the constitution for congress to specify which books are permitted and which books are not and to use the -- >> the answer is obvious -- no. >> and if i may ask -- >> could we keep on the -- i appreciate we have a discussion on books. i know that they have that in your state of texas where
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educational board tells people what books they should or should not read in their schools. something we would not do in vermont. we are not going to talk about your right. let's stick to guns. >> let me just -- >> mr. chairman, i appreciate your acknowledging that the state of tk allows books. i would specify a little more broadly. >> pornography books. >> protected by the first amendment. >> it's obviously there are different tests on different amendments. and i think what the senator is going to point out was something that didn't occur to me at the moment. there are certain kinds of pornographic materials that would not be covered by the first amendment. >> and is it the view of the senior senator from california that congress should be in the business of specifying particular books or for that matter with respect to the fourth amendment particular individuals who are not covered by the bill of rights? >> sir, congress is in the business of making law. the supreme court interprets the law. they strike down the law, they
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strike down the law. the tests in heller with respect to unusual weapons, two other things i think do not cover -- in other words, they cover an exemption for assault weapons. if this is brought up before the court if it should pass, i'm sure that argument will be made. >> the senator from illinois wish -- >> that's exactly the point. the senator knows having attended law school and professes to have some experience in the constitution, none of these rights are absolute. none of them. and the heller decision goes specifically to the question of this amendment and tells us when they were asked in the heller decision, a panel -- heller 2, a panel of republican appointed judges rejected a second amendment challenge to d.c.'s assault weapon ban and magazine limits, the second amendment challenge. the d.c. circuit court held that such laws, quote, do not disarm individuals or
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substantially defend their ability to defend themselves. i could go on but i think the senator from california made the case. >> mrs. feinstein. >> no. >> mr. schumer. >> no. >> mr. durbin. >> no. >> mr. whitehouse. >> no by proxy. >> ms. klobuchar. >> no. >> mr. coons. >> no by proxy. >> mr. blumenthal. >> no. >> ms. hirono. >> no. >> mr. hatch. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. sessions. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. graham. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. cornyn. >> aye. >> mr. lee. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. cruz. >> aye. >> mr. flake. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. chairman. >> no. i note for the record that senator graham is here. >> great yeas -- >> as much as i'm over here i'm here. >> oh, ok. >> the amendment fails. is there another amendment?
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>> i have one amendment. >> incidentally, i appreciate -- and i mean it sincerely, i appreciate the courtesy of the senior senator from texas who is -- told us well in advance which amendments he's going to have and he's not taken an undue amount of time. that means a lot to me. so please go ahead. >> again, the fundamental flaw i think in the legislation is assuming that certain types of weapons will be used only for offensive purposes. that's wrong. if it were true, the bill itself would not exempt retired law enforcement officers from the criminalization of the possession of these weapons. and so to further point out that fundamental flaw in the legislation, i would call up my amendment 13181. this is -- >> 131 --
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>> and ask for its immediate consideration. mr. chairman, this amendment -- >> the senator has the right and the amendment is before the committee. >> mr. chairman, as the distinguished ranking member pointed out, not all of america is urban. there are large sections of urban -- excuse me -- rural america where government, including law enforcement officers, are not omni present. this amendment would prevent the bill from threatening law-abiding citizens living in rural areas, in rural communities of our country by exempting them from possession of these self-defense weapons. the violence against women act itself recognizes that citizens in rural areas and communities deserve special protection under our laws. in my home state of texas and around the nation, rural americans often live far away from the protection of law enforcement officials. and this committee should
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recognize the vast differences between different regions of our country before enacting blanket bans on personal self-defense weapons from washington, d.c. we must ensure that rural americans are able to fully protect their families before the police arrive too late at the scene of a violent crime, and my amendment exempting otherwise law-abiding citizens living in rural areas from the criminalization attempted by this legislation by exempting them -- from prohibitions on the possession of these weapons for self-defense purposes. and i ask my colleagues to support it. >> i thank the distinguished senator. is there any comments? >> urge a no vote, mr. chairman. >> senator feinstein has urged a no vote. i pay particular attention living on a dirt road in a town that has no police force --
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>> mr. chairman, with the guns you have, they don't need a police force. >> i feel adequately protected. the clerk call the roll. >> ms. feinstein. >> no. >> mr. schumer. >> no. >> mr. durbin. >> no. >> mr. whitehouse. >> no by proxy. >> ms. klobuchar. >> no. >> mr. franken. >> no. >> mr. koonce. >> no by -- mr. coons. >> no by proxy. >> ms. hirono. >> no. >> mr. sessions. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. graham. >> aye. >> mr. cornyn. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. lee. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. cruz. >> aye. >> mr. chairman. >> no. >> mr. chairman, eight yeas, 10 nays. >> i would note that i do have other amendments, but in order to maintain the pleasant and disposition of the chairman and not to burn any bridges unnecessarily --
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[laughter] >> and this close to st. patrick's day -- >> at least not right now, i withhold further amendments for the floor. thank you. >> i appreciate that. the senator from texas knows my disappointed not being elected pope so that -- i appreciate his courtesy there. i know i'm going to pay for that smart alic remark. i appreciate the courtesy of all the senators. we had four -- >> cardinals. >> i guess we're still considered cardinals. but the -- i appreciate the courtesy of all the senators of both parties in moving through four major pieces of legislation. i want to call the roll on senator feinstein -- i told her i have some concerns about some aspects of it, but i feel this is a matter of such importance. it should be voted on by the
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whole senate, not just by this committee, and so i will vote to support her bill as -- i will vote to support her bill as it is before us and the clerk will call the roll. >> aye. >> mr. schumer. >> aye. >> mr. durbin. >> aye. >> mr. whitehouse. >> aye by proxy. >> ms. klobuchar. >> aye. >> mr. franken. >> aye. >> mr. coons. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. blumenthal. >> aye. >> mr. grassley. >> no. >> mr. hatch. >> no by proxy. >> mr. sessions. >> no by proxy. >> mr. graham. >> no by proxy. >> mr. cornyn. >> no. >> mr. lee. >> no by proxy. >> mr. cruz. >> no. >> mr. flake. >> no. >> mr. chairman. >> aye. >> mr. chairman votes aye. 10 yeas, eight nays. >> the bill will be reported to the floor. i know several senators have asked for time to speak. and senator feinstein, i note
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we've completed the work on the agenda, but several senators have asked to speak and i will stay here and give everybody a chance. >> mr. chairman. >> the senator from -- senior senator from california. >> i know other members wanted to speak on this. i just want a very -- to make a very few comment. i think every member of this committee needs to ask themselves a few questions. first, i want to thank the members that have stood with me. it is very much appreciated. as i've said before, the road is uphill. i fully understand it. i think a lot of my passion comes from just what i've seen on the streets of cities in this country, but i really think that every member of this committee needs to ask themselves a few following questions -- are we going to
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stand with the thousands of police chiefs and law enforcement officers who do support this bill? are we going to stand with the victims of gun violence? are we going to stand with the overwhelming number of people? there has not been one poll done that doesn't show that a majority of americans want this bill passed. how is this country going to be a weaker country because we don't produce millions of assault weapons to end up in the hands of gangs, to go for grievance killers? you know, let me say something about the young man at sandy hook, because in a sense it's typical. this is a young man who was disturbed. he was maladjusted. his mother, a gun collector, gave him this weapon, took him to the range, taught him how to fire the weapon. the first person he killed was his mother, and then he went to
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sandy hook and killed brave adults and those children. and you know, when we hear the testimony from the emergency physician about what those bullets did inside the body of those children, it is a very sobering picture. i mean, i cannot get out of my mind trying to find a pulse in someone and putting fingers in a bullet hole. i cannot get out of my mind walking into a crime and seeing the brain matter all over, the carnage. and seeing these mass attacks continue to happen. i mean, i thought it would end with the texas bell tower, but it hasn't. universities, schools, movie theaters, law offices, places of employment. and these weapons become the weapon of choice. why allow them to continue? this bill doesn't take a weapon
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from anybody. it simply talks about the future. it simply says if you possess one you have to keep it safely. a trigger lock. that if you sell it to anyone but a family member, they have to have a background check. it affects clips and ammunition feeding devices so people that want to go into a theater and kill 100 people can't do it with 100-round magazine. i don't see that as being bad. i don't see that as harming america because we have so many guns. no nation has more guns in theirian society than we do. you can compare -- in their civilian society than we do. you can compare it with the u.k. you can compare it with australia, and you will see a few double digits and then you will see thousands in america. so how is this a bad thing to
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do? you know, i've been in this political career, true, in a city, a tumultuous city, a diverse city. i've seen bright young police officer, young latino officer that everyone thought had a brilliant future in the san francisco police department walking down third street when a gang member walked the other way with an ak-47, opened his coat and shot him dead. how many times does this have to happen? and it happens all over. that's why the police are for this. you know, you can exempt retired police. they have been trained. they know how to use these. very different from a grievance killer. very different from jonesboro or columbine or virginia tech. very different. and the clips, the size of the clips, who needs it?
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i mean, would anyone respect someone with a 30-round clip going out shooting deer? i don't think so. so the problem is, you know, i understand the right of people to want to collect these and nothing takes any weapon away from anybody. and to prove it we exempt so many weapons. so i have a hard time understanding why our country isn't better off. with respect to case -- i know others will argue this -- but no assault weapons legislation has been struck down. my last bill went through the fourth, the sixth, the ninth and the d.c. circuit. this bill is patterned after that and it wasn't struck down. none have been thus far. no state bill and the last federal bill. so i just wanted to say that. i want to thank everybody. senator, i want to apologize to you.
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you sort of got my dander up, and that happens on occasion. >> first time ever. >> mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, may i ask unanimous consent -- >> certainly. >> that my vote be recorded as present and not by proxy. >> i was going to suggest that and we're glad -- i know you've been going through a rough time with your back. we're glad to have you back and your votes will be recorded as in person. >> he was medevaced. >> senator schumer, and before we leave i will have a statement too. i'll yield to everybody first. senator graham. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to make the same request of senator whitehouse. i think i missed a vote. to senator feinstein, you have been consistent. you're sincere as the day is long. i completely understand your point of view. and i'll vote no because -- for
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a couple reasons. number one, about the capacity of the clip. one bullet in the hands of a mental he disturbed person or felon, a gang member is one too many. there are thousands of these high-capacity clips in circulation today. but i could see a situation where an individual citizen would need more than six bullets or 10. most assaults, not most, a third of the assaults that occur are by more than one perpetrator. i go back to the situation of the lady in atlanta a couple months ago. a man broke in her home. she was at home with her twin daughters. he had just gotten out of jail with a crowbar. she went to the second floor of the house and hid in a closet. on the phone with her husband. she had a .38 reinvolver she
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hit him five or six times. he got up and drove away. thank god there weren't two. in that situation, it wouldn't bother me at all, senator feinstein, if she had 30 or 100 bullets. it disturbs me what happened in connecticut with any kind of weapon or magazine. how do you interrupt the shooter? the theory if you limit the size or the compacity when you have one of these -- capacity when you have one of these mass shootings it will have a break in the shooting. it really is a false sense of interrupting the shooter. it has a certain logic to it. but i think we can have a better system. if you had -- there are $300 million spent on securing this capitol. you can't walk anywhere in here without some armed guard. why? because this is a magnet -- this is the center of democracy. a lot of people would like to do harm to the building, what it stands for and the people inside.
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i believe the best way to interrupt the shooter is to have a mental health system that actually records and enters into the database people who should not be able to buy a gun. in south carolina a lady was able to purchase a gun lawfully who had been -- plead not guilty by reason of insanity for trying to kill the president of the united states. the system did not capture her. there are better ways to deal with this. the assault ban. 2.4% of the murders last year, the caused, the instrument was a rifle, not an ar-15 but a rifle. so we're really focusing on what i think is an emotional part of the problem but will create a false sense of safety. i've said this probably more than i should. i own an ar-15, not out of animosity or paranoia that life is going to disintegrate in my community. i would need it. but there are circumstances where if you did have a
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situation where lawlessness took over from a national disaster that self-defense component of an ar-15 is to me far greater than a double-barrel shotgun. but you don't have to agree with me. the reason i bought the ar-15, i served in afghanistan as a reservist and people in my unit were buying ar-15's with a logo of my unit. i haven't shot it yet. i need to go and shoot it. that's why i bought it. that's why the people in the unit bought it. i would just suggest that this legislation has been tried before. it really didn't change things. and after the heller case, i really do believe that there's a very good argument, traditional lawful purposes such as self-defense, i can make a logical defense that an ar-15 is better in certain circumstances than other weapons than one may want to buy. common use at the time, there are over four million of these guns. it's not like i'm the only one
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in america with this. there are four million, it's the number one selling rifle i think last year. not dangerous. of course it is. and unusual is the second, is the third test. can't be unusual in the circumstances of what's going on in america in terms of people purchasing the rifle. and having said that, i will vote no. it is not about questioning senator feinstein's motives. we just see things differently. she has been doing this for a very long time. because she believes it will help. and i believe it is -- will not appreciateably change things and it is giving a false sense of safety and there are better things we can do in a bipartisan way to address gun violence. the crooks are going to get the guns. if you ever find yourself having to meet one of these crooks, i want to make sure you can defend yourself. thank you. >> mr. chairman. >> i would note for everybody -- i said i'll stay here as
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long as anybody wishes to speak. i just note out of consideration for everybody there is going to be a vote in a few minutes at which point we will have to recess and come back. senator schumer, you have been patiently waiting. >> i wasn't going to speak but i do want to make a point. it's in reference to the vy log between the senator from texas -- dialogue between the senator from texas and the senator from california. you know, even before heller, i go to upstate new york to gun clubs and people would say to me, why is it that people down in new york city want to interpret the first or the fourth amendment broadly and expansively and see the second amendment through the pen hole of militias and only if you are a member of the reserves or national guard that you would have the right to bear arms? and as i thought about it they had a point. heller made that point in a constitutional sense. it said that there is a right to bear arms and a nonmilitia
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member, a nonreservist in washington, d.c., had that right. and i think that's a good thing that they said that. and i've made speeches and arguments that those of us on the more progressive side should accept that argument. but heller made a second point and that is that -- there are limits on the second amendment the way there are limits on every other amendment. and in fact, specifically in regard to my good friend from south carolina, under heller the d.c. circuit explicitly upheld the d.c. assault weapons ban as a reasonable limitation. but my point goes more large than that. we now have the inverse situation. our folks -- some folks defend the second amendment to all limits. there are no reasonable limitations on the second amendment and many of those very same people would much more narrowly interpret the
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first amendment or the fourth amendment or some of the others. so in reference to the colleague, the question my colleague from texas asked, would you limit books, would you name specific books? yeah. it's constitutional within the first amendment to eliminate child pornography. . they are constitutional and been upheld as constitutional. similarly you can't falsely scream fire in a crowded theater. similarly we have libel laws. every one of these is an impingement on the sacred first amendment. upheld as constitutional. there are reasonable limits on each amendment, and i think it is anomalous to put it kindly for either side to say -- to interpret one amendment so expansively and another amendment so narrowly that it just doesn't add up because your interpretation of the
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constitution should be consistent. this is particularly true now i would say to my friends who defend the second amendment. to too many people there are no limits. none. no objectionable limits. and it makes no sense. you can still believe in the right to bear arms, which i believe in, and say, for instance, that there are certain arms that may not fall in that am bit, certainly in certain instances. -- ambit, certainly in certain instances. certainly it would seem to me that making sure there is a background check under the brady law, making it more -- making the background check more effective, is constitutional. although some on the other side have said it's not. i wish we could all come a little bit more to the middle on this issue. i wish that those of us on this
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side of the table, and i think we do, and certainly heller did, believe in there's a right to bear arms and it is no less a part of the constitution than other parts of the constitution. but i would hope that some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would realize and recognize is a better word that there are reasonable limits on the second amendment just as there are reasonable limits on all of the other amendments. mr. chairman, thank you. >> mr. durbin. >> i want to thank my colleagues from california, new york, for their statements and just add that there are a couple things i would like to note. today is march 14. it is three months since newtown, connecticut, on december 14. what happened in that classroom and the classrooms of that school at sandy hook was a national tragedy. senator feinstein, thank you for bringing this back for our consideration. the ar-15 used that day to kill
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the innocent children and six administrators and teachers, is a weapon that really should be restricted in this contry, not to those currently on them. future sales, that's what you address. i think it has been held up before and again in the courts that these assault weapon bans are constitutional. we held an express hearing on this which you attended and dr. lawrence tribe from harvard testified and said that the argument that this legislation is unconstitutional is decidedly a losing argument. justice scalia, no liberal, made crystal clear in the heller decision there is, quote, historical tradition in our country of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. assault weapons, end of quote, assault weapons are disproportionately dangerous when used in assault and they represent a small fraction of the guns in circulation. there is no doubt in my mind that your law as has been held by previous courts is
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constitutional. and there is sound standing for it to be considered. and this notion that, it's such a small percentage, it may be a small percentage. but the tragedy that we have witnessed, tragedies we have witnessed in the use of these assault weapons are reminders that we cannot stand idly by and as the senator from new york suggested argue some absolute position that will not allow us to make schools and neighborhoods and homes safer in america. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think all of us understand the passions that this topic ill list its, but in my view decisions in this body on everything, especially this topic, should be driven by facts and the data and by the constitution not by passion. so i'd like to make four points briefly. number one, machine guns are already functionally illegal.
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when this topic is discussed in the public forum, a great many people when they hear the phrase assault weapon, believe that what is being discussed is fully automatic machine guns. senior senator from california made reference to an ak-47, i believe wielded by a gang member. an ak-47 is a fully automatic machine gun that is functionally illegal today. tragically gang members don't tend to follow gun laws. number two, this bill, the data demonstrate, would be singularly ineffective in preventing violent crime. that i think is not surprising because as the hearings on this bill demonstrated, the weapons that would be prohibited by this bill are functionally identicalle to semiautomatic deer rifles, millions of which are in circulation, and this
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bill targets cosmetic features on guns, cosmetic features that at the end of the day make the guns appear scary but does not alter the basic mechanism. and i would note that we don't have to hypothesize about the effectiveness because we in fact have seen what happens when a very, very similar bill is in effect. the prior assault weapons ban was in effect for a decade. three times the department of justice funded studies on that assault weapons bill and three times the studies were not able to find any statistically significant impact on violent crime. as a result of the assault weapons ban. that's three studies in a row which is very difficult to get away from, and indeed since the assault weapons ban expired, we now see murders by rifles are roughly half today what they were when the assault weapons ban is in effect.
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so this is not a law that i think has any reasonable prospect of reducing violent crimes. something i know everyone in this committee would like to see violent crime reduced. indeed, i would suggest as my third point, that if the real objective is reducing violent crime, we should be devoting our time to far more effective steps. we should be devoting our time to laws that target violent criminals. we should be devoting our time to laws that improve the nics background check. we heard testimony that 18 states right now have submitted 100 or fewer mental health records to the background check program. that's a serious problem. i would note my home state of texas has submitted over 200,000 mental health records to that background system. and i fully expect to support on the floor legislation that is targeted at violent criminals and not sat law-abiding citizens. indeed, if we wanted to go
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further and really consider significant steps to stop violent crime, i would suggest we could consider legislation or a constitutional amendment to alter or repeal the exclusionary rule in criminal proceedings. now, there is a rule that consistently excludes evidence of guilt from violent criminals and has resulted in violent criminals being freed over an over and over again. if the passion that is focused on this issue right now were targeted at preventing violent crime, i would suggest considering the impact of the exclusionary rule would be a far more fruitful area for actually stopping violent crime because i, too, as many of the members of this committee have worked in law enforcement for many, many years, have dealt with victims of crime, and think we need to be serious about protecting americans from violent crime with every tool at our disposal. my fourth and final point is
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that the constitution in my opinion should be the touch stone of everything we do. some have suggested in this hearing that the role of congress is to pass laws and it's up to the court to consider constitutionality. i would point out that every one of us takes an oath to defend the constitution. and that is a fundamental obligation of every member of this body. there has been some suggestion that heller would allow this regulation. i would point out that i am not unfamiliar with the heller case. indeed i represented 31 states before the u.s. supreme court in the heller case. so i have an intimate familiarity with that case having been an active part of litigating it and winning 5-4 before the supreme court, and what the supreme court said in heller, it did say there are some restrictions on the second amendment that are permissible. for example, it specifically
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identified the current prohibition on fully automatic machine guns. but it also said that weapons that are in common use such as, in that case, handguns were the principle issue -- principal issue being discussed, and the same arguments that are suggested here about why so-called assault weapons were made by the district of columbia for why handguns would be banned. the supreme court said if they are in common use for self-defense they cannot be banned consistent with the second amendment. we have heard testimony that there are some four million weapons that would be covered by this bill. i would suggest on any measure four million weapons qualify as common use and under the terms of heller they cannot actually be prohibited. the final point i would make on the constitution is some have pointed to public opinion polls. in my view the constitution is particularly important.
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when the bill of rights is unpopular. that was the entire purpose of the bill of rights. when our rights are popular, we don't need the constitution. the purpose of it is to stab for -- stand for the rights of the minority when the majority is acting to strip their rights, and i would note the senior senator from new york asked about other rights. i think we should be vigorous in protecting every right in the constitution. just last week a number of us spent some 13 hours on the floor of the senate defending the fifth amendment and in particular the right of americans not to be denied their life without due process of law. and indeed senator rand paul and i have introduced legislation to make clear that the united states government cannot use a drone to kill a u.s. citizen on u.s. soil if that individual does not pose an imminent threat, and i would certainly welcome support from any of my thretion on the other side of the aisle on that -- from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle on that --
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>> identify don't want to cut the senator off. he's made his -- five of his four points. but we do -- we are going to have a vote in a few minutes and i would ask him to -- i'll say if he wants to make it longer, appreciate the lecture of what we are supposed to do as senators and the constitution. i have been doing it for 38 years but i'm always happy to have the reminder from somebody who has been here for probably not quite as long. i would like to let some of the others -- >> mr. chairman, if i could have 60 more seconds to conclude. >> go ahead. >> likewise earlier this week this committee voted to fund a study of the impact of films and video games on violent crimes. i would note that i voted know against that as well. i believe in the first amendment, i believe in the second amendment, i believe in the fifth amendment. i would suggest that every one
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of us has an obligation to the constitution. will i happily welcome support from -- i will happily welcome support from anyone who wants to stand and fight for the constitution because in my view that should be our principal responsibility and obligation. thank you. >> i thank the senator. senator whitehouse. >> speak briefly. it's pretty clear where -- i think it's pretty clear where this is going and where the political forces have arrayed themselves. and i would hope that as we go to the floor i can work with senator feinstein and others to make sure that we get a separate vote on the high capacity magazines question. it's pretty clear that the assault weapons ban has become -- other party has become locked in against that. i don't see us getting 60 votes. i do think it's possible to get
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60 votes on the high capacity weapons ban. it is hard to imagine that it can be a violation of the first amendment for somebody to yell fire in a crowded theater, but it's not a violation of the second amendment to prevent somebody from bringing a 100-round magazine into a crowded theater in aurora, colorado. we have heard testimony in this committee very specific testimony about lives that would have been saved if there had not been those high capacity magazines. we heard from representative giffords' husband about the shooting in which he mentioned the child who was the 13th shot victim would not have happened if he had to reload sooner. we heard from the u.s. attorney prosecuting the aurora case about the harm that was -- direct consequence of having the capacity of magazine that that individual had before the weapon jammed. we heard from the police chief
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there has been no testimony to the contrary, indeed the republican witnesses have specifically said that these high capacity magazines, at least at some level, are outside of the heller decision. that was an admission by one of the pro-gun republican witnesses. i think there is room to maneuver there. there is logic behind it. there is unrebutted testimony behind it. it does not interfere with the prescriptions of heller. and i hope that we can at least agree to get that passed. we can't unless we get a vote on it. i hope we can work together to make sure we get in addition to a vote on the assault weapons on the floor, a vote on the high capacity magazines restriction. >> i appreciate that. talk about what congress can do. so far this is the only committee that's held hearings on gun violence. in neither body. and the only one that has actually taken up and passed out legislation.
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we have done it in two months' time. senator franken. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to congratulate senator feinstein on today's vote. it's an important step. i know that she worked tirelessly on this legislation. we have been debating this legislation for about three months. there are strongly held views on both sides. that's not just ok, it's good. obviously. i respect the perspectives and opinions, opinions of every member. minnesota has rural areas. the minnesotans feel different ways about this. but as the bill now moves to the full senate, some of the bill's co-sponsors, i guess it's me and dick, remaining, dick durbin talked about constitutionality. we'd like to talk to some of the arguments that have been made against the bill.
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one of the arguments that we have heard repeatedly is that independent justice department studies proved that the last assault weapons ban was ineffective. and i kind of wish that the junior senator from texas was still here. during our first hearing one witness stated, quote, independent studies including a study from the clinton justice department proved that the assault weapons ban had no impact on lowering crime, unquote. during our last committee hearing it was the junior senator who said, talking about that study, that was the janet reno department of justice under president clinton that said, the assault weapons ban was singularly ineffective. during last week's executive meeting, one of my colleagues said, quote, according to the
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department of justice's own study, the ban was completely inineffectual in reducing murder or -- ineffectual in reducing murder or crime rates, end quote. these are simply not accurate portrayals of the studies. at the very least the studies were inconclusive. here's what they actually say. as long as we have the staff here i'd like you to hear that. for your bosses. pages 6 and 7 of the 1997 study, we recommend further study of the impact measures examined in this investigation. the ban effects on the gun market are still unfolding. page 2th 2004 study.
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-- page 2 of the 2004 study. it is premature to make definitive assessments of the ban's impact on gun crime. page 80 of the 2004 study. it is premature to make defenive assessments of the ban -- definitive assessments on the ban of gun violence. the laws effects are still unfolding. it may not be felt -- fully felt for several years into the future. page 98 of the 2004 report, the effects of the assault weapon ban and large capacity magazine ban have yet to be fully realized. therefore we recommend continued study of trends and availibility in criminal use of assault weapons and large capacity magazines. i could go on.
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but the bottom line is that i don't see how anyone could read the d.o.j. studies and say that they proved that the last ban was ineffective. and yet that is what two members have asserted, have stated. i respect their opinions. they have a right to their opinions as pat moynihan says, they don't have a right to their facts. if anything, the report suggests an assault weapons ban would be effective over time. the 1997 study said that the author's best estimate was that the ban contributed to a 6.7% decrease in total gun murders. though the authors noted that the data were insufficient for them to make a scientific conclusion. the 2004 study included an analysis of a.t.f. gun tracing
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data which suggested the use of assault weapons in crimes fell by more than 2/3 after the last ban went into effect. courtesy to my colleague from connecticut, i'd like to ask him to speak to a couple of other arguments that have been made that i think bear some rebuttal. >> senator blumenthal, you have been recognized by chairman franken. please go ahead. >> thank you. >> i apologize. >> no apology needed. >> i sensed sarcasm, sir. >> go ahead. >> understatement can be sarcasm. we'll talk about this later. >> i am very hesitant to follow that exchange. thank you, chairman leahy, and i want to thank my colleague -- >> i also want -- in all
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seriousness i want to thank senator fraken for what he brought up. it was a point that should be emphasized over and over again. we all have opinions. we have to deal with facts. and senator franken was dealing with facts. i appreciate that. senator blumenthal. >> thank you, chairman leahy. i want to thank senator franken for his very thoughtful and well informed factual rebuttal some of the points that have been raised here. and also to senator feinstein for her unremitting and relentless pursuit of this measure which consists of both a ban on assault weapons, which were defined very explicitly and carefully in this bill, and high capacity magazines. both were integral to the massacre that occurred just three months ago in newtown, connecticut.
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for me as for her, this issue is very personal. i was there within hours of the mass killing, and i saw the grief and pain that resulted from a murder on a scale that could not have occurred without assault weapons and high capacity magazines. lives were saved. because the shooter had to change magazines. children escaped because he could not shoot more than the 30 rounds in the clip that he began with. but he did change clips, and he continued shooting with a weapon that was designed to be among the most lethal in the arsenal that military men and women carry with them in combat. it was a weapon designed for combat.
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to be as lethal as possible. and that's essentially what defines the assault weapon that is banned in this legislation. it has a definition of characteristics such as a pistol group, pistol grip, barrel shroud, forward grip, threaded barrel, detachable magazine outside of the pistol grip. these characteristics that are in the legislation are not there by accident. they are there because they make this weapon more lethal. and more dangerous. the argument for self-defense in the constitution is -- has been proved by heller. we can't deny it. but actually that does not mean that machine guns are actually protected or bazookas or any of the other kinds of weapons that
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the military carries to kill enemy combatants. and we have had a lot of testimony about these military characteristics from law enforcement, chief flynn, for example, who described the specific characteristics that make these weapons more lethal from john walsh, the u.s. attorney, who testified before our committee, and from mayor nutter who said about them, they are offensive weapons. that's what you use them for. because you are on offense. there are specific definitions in the bill that i think comprort with the due process clause as to the specificity of definition. i have defended the connecticut assault weapon ban in our state courts, and it was upheld against all of these challenges. and i would just point out that
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the exemption for retired police officers based not only on their training, but also on the role that they can play in continued law enforcement. just as off-duty police officers do, retired police can often play a role in deterring or pursuing criminals. but the basic point here is that children and educators would be alive today but for those -- the assault weapon and the high capacity magazine that was used in that horrific criminal act of three months ago. our law enforcement officers would not be outgunned if this ban were in effect. this is a law enforcement tool. it is supported by law enforcement officers and professionals. the other measures that have been suggested here, mental health, for example, has a role
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to play. and so do some of the other initiatives that we sponsored and supported and passed from this committee. there is no single solution, no single state can do it alone. we need this protection. and i am appreciative that our chairman has permitted it to did to the -- go to the floor where i believe there may well be an effort to divide the assault weapon ban from the high capacity magazine ban. i welcome that kind of split, but not because i want to vote for one or the other. i will vote for both because i think both help us prevent newtown, which was a call to action, and we are heeding it today. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i thank the senator from connecticut. of course he and i have known each other for years both in his capacity as attorney general and more recently as a member of the senate.
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i appreciate what all of you brought to it. it's been a serious subject. i appreciate i said senator franken said about the facts. he's right. it's something that should be driven home over and over again. senator feinstein, who has devoted time on this from -- i think from the first time we met . and i appreciate her devotion to it. it is not a abstract pie in the sky. i think anybody who reads the history of what she pays and how she became mayor of san francisco would understand p senator blumenthal i remember the emotion in your voice when i talked to you. you were about to go to meet the families of the victims and i called you and the conversation we had. i said we would do what we could
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about gun violence and we devoted our first hearing in this congress back in january. what to do about gun violence. the first hearing of either body for years. i have asked this committee, i have asked all senators, republicans, democrats to come together as americans, not as partisans, as part of a collective effort to find solutions, to help ensure no families, no community be made to endure the tragedies of the past few years. whether in an elementary school in connecticut, movie theater in colorado, a sacred place of worship in wisconsin. a shopping mall in arizona. americans are looking to us for solutions and for action. after three hearings, four markup sessions we have essentially completed our work. we have sent it on to the senate for consideration. now work with the majority
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leader see how he intends to proceed. we have worked to try to provide law enforcement with stronger tools against illegal gun trafficking. and to close that loophole. we have proposed enhancements to school security. we have proposed closing loopholes in our background check system from firearm purchases. others have proposed restrictions on military-style weapons. and the size of ammunition clips. i know gun store owners in vermont, they follow the law. they conduct background checks to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. they wonder how others who sell guns do not have to follow these same rules. i agree with these responsible business owners. if we can all agree that criminals, those adjudicated mentally ill, should not be buying firearms, why shouldn't
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we plug the loopholes in the law to allow them to buy guns without any background checks? why shouldn't they all be subjected to the same checked item when i buy a firearm or anybody else in this room? why shouldn't the law apply to everybody the same? it's common sense. previous measures to close the gun show loophole or improve the background check system have been bipartisan. i hope we can make further improvements in a bipartisan way . i he noted at the outset the second amount is secure and will remain secure and protected. i yield to no member on this committee by devotion to protecting our constitution, every part of our constitution. in two recent cases the supreme court has confirmed that the second amendment like other aspects of our billing of rights, protects a fundamental
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individual right. americans have the right to self-defense and have guns in their homes to protect their families. nobody is going to take those rights away or guns away. second amendment rights are the foundation which our discussion rests. they are not at risk. that's not -- let's not put an issue out here that is not out here. but lives are at risk when responsible people fail to stand up for laws that will keep guns out of the hands of those who would commit mass murder. ours is a free society. it's an open society. let's come together to become a safer and more secure society. we need consensus around commonsense solutions. when we -- what we do not need are false charges about gun registries and gun confiscation to scare people when no such thing is being proposed or will be proposed.
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these matters are too serious for that. as we began our efforts i challenge other senators to come forward to work together to indicate what issue they would support. i thank the ranking member for making that effort. i'll continue to work with him and others to see if we cannot find more things in which we can agree, and more solutions which we can move forward together to make americans safer. on a personal note, i appreciate so much the honor of being chair of this committee. that is a committee i wanted to be on from the day i came to the united states senate. i have had the privilege to become the longest serving member of this body. i have seen times when republicans and democrats come together on very serious issues. for the sake of our country, of
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our children, of our grandchildren let us come together, find some sensible, sensible steps that can make us safer as a nation. we are too great, too wonderful a country to do otherwise. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> chairman leahy exists the room after the senate judiciary committee passes this morning on a party-line vote of 10-8. senator dianne feinstein's proposed legislation which would ban the sale and transfer importation and manufacture of 157 specifically named guns, as well as large capacity ammunition magazines. it goes on to the full senate. in the full senate today members are working on amendments to the continuing resolution with government funding ending on march 27. the c.r. which passed the house last week would continue government funding through the end of the current fiscal year. debate -- an amendment vote is under way in the senate now. that's on c-span2. the house is back in here at noon eastern. and back to legislative work later this afternoon at about 3:45 eastern, we think, after
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the president finishes up his visits to capitol hill. the house today will be working on a bill that deals with federal work training programs. we'll have live coverage here on c-span of course when they gavel in. just a short while ago democratic leader nancy pelosi wrapped up her briefing with reporters. she spoke about the proposed house budget and the deliberations over the 2014 budget. >> good morning, everyone. very exciting that that we have a pope. as a san francisco can i'm particularly happy of the name that the pope has chosen, francis.
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yesterday i wasn't sure whether the name was for st. francis of assisi or -- who is the fray ton saint of san francisco, or for saint francis xavier. saint francis of assisi cared for all god's creation. st. francis xavier did, too, he promulgated the faith in asia, a jesuit priest. it appears that saint francis of assisi is the namesake of our new pope. pretty exciting. as one who has the -- in our city the song of saint francis is our anthem with the instruments of god's peace where there is darkness, let me bring light, hatred may we bring love, to forgive so that we can be forgiven. it's pretty exciting, pretty thrilling to have francis, i guess they don't say the first. not until they have a second one of these days.
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it's very exciting. i'm just so thrilled. you are always looking for signs, but when the bird was on the -- did you see this? there was a bird, a sea gull on the chimney for like 40 minutes before the white smoke came. he flew -- the bird flew away then later the white smoke came, but since saint francis has always been found by birds, we are reading a great deal into the symbolism of that. all that joyous activity is happening in rome and celebrated throughout the world, last night here in washington the republicans passed a budget along party lines that is nothing more than the romney-ryan policies rejected by the american people in the last election. the republicans say this is their path to prosperity. i would say prosperity for whom?
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by and large it is a path to pain. pain for the middle class. pain for working families and children. pain for america's seniors. republican ryan proposal will lose two million jobs next year alone. stall our nation's recovery by decreasing economic growth by 18.7%. likely cost the -- if indeed they do balance in 10 years, which is very hard to do without the middle class pitching in at least 2000 jobs -- $2,000 by some estimates, it's a study -- it's a hoax. this is removed into the category of hoax and exercise in contradictions. repealing the affordable care act while using the lost savings in revenues to balance their budget. claiming to protect medicare while ending the medicare guarantee in 10 years for future
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seniors. pretending to balance books without a balanced plan for deficit reduction. as we all say budgets are a statement of our values. a federal budget should be a statement of our national values. what is important to us as a country. the characteristic ter of our country. -- character of our country. it calls for us to make decisions in a budget that strengthens that character and our country. our democratic budget that mr. chris van hollen is taking a lead on, our ranking member from maryland, will make a clear distinction vis-a-vis what is proposed by our republican colleagues. one of the words that could describe -- one of the big differences between the two budgets is economic growth. it's jobs. if you want to know about values and our different view of our national values, that's for
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sure, it's about figures and how they add up. but again the values and what reaches the american people, that's what is important. one of these bills creates jobs. the other loses jobs. tomorrow again chris will present a budget that cuts spending responsibly, increases revenue fairly, strengthens the middle class and creates growth with jobs. infrastructure funding, innovation, energy, and manufacturing initiatives. today as you know we'll meet with president obama. we look forward to that meeting to lay out our shared vision of economic growth in a balanced approach to deficit reduction. we need to reduce the deficit. we all agree on that. democrats for decades have been saying pay as you go.
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republicans repealed that aspect because they didn't want to pay for their tax expenditures which are as much in spending as any other spending in the budget. again recognizing the budgets are not just about numbers, and their numbers don't really add up in a good way for america's great middle class, their budgets are about the impacts that they have on the american people. we look forward to continuing that debate. i'm very proud of our members. they understand the knowledge of the budget and what it contains are really the fundamentals of what we come here to debate. and this isn't just about what we pass one day or another. the decisions made in these budgets and what that means in the legislative process, appropriation, ways and means, etc., the impact of these budget decisions today will be felt for decades. maybe a generation of impacts.
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so it's really important debate we are going to make it clear -- a clear distinction. there is so much to talk about. we'll have to prioritize the worst among many, many very bad provisions of the ryan budget. with that i would be pleased to take any questions you may have. >> yesterday the president told republicans he's prepared to take some heat within his own party negotiating changes to entitlements. are you concerned about what he's contemplating and how much heat are you prepared to give him? >> i think -- i don't know how much heat the president -- i just don't know what he said. i wasn't in the room. but let us just say that our debate about the budget is to put initiatives on the table and see how they work for the american people. do they live up to the promise that the initiative makes to the
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american people? are they the best and most fiscally sound way to get that done? is what you're talking about is mandatory spending that would be in a bill? as i said if the goal is to strengthen social security, if a goal is to strengthen medicare, if the goal is to recognize the importance of medicaid and how we make all of these initiatives fiscally sound while honoring our promises to america's seniors and the american people, then we are ready to have that debate, and i'm sure that we are on the same page with the president in that regard. >> there is some nervousness from democrats that the president already has gone too far and what he's willing to do on entitlements like change c.p.i. at one point. raising the medicare eligibility age. is there something you think he can say to those members in the meeting today that would make members more comfortable?
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>> we'll hear what the president has to say and how he prioritizes the issues he wants to discuss. raising the age is just, as i said before, trophy take. we heard testimony from the keyser family foundation that said it costs money to raise the age. what do these initiatives accomplish except a slap in the face to somebody to say you shouldn't be getting this entitlement? the fact is, the fact is these people are not going to be holding their breath between 65 and 67. their health needs will not go away. their opportunity for prevention and wellness that are contained in the affordable care act, which are already benefits that seniors are enjoying, would go away. so what is the point? is the point to take a trophy? is the point to make seniors
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less healthy? it doesn't save money. in terms of c.p.i., i have said let's take a look at that. what is it -- there are elements in our party, who have said that we can do this without hurting the poor and the very elderly. so let's see what that is. there are others who are objecting to it plain and simple. i have to say if we can demonstrate that it doesn't hurt the poor and the very elderly, then let's take a look at it because compared to what? compared to what? compared to republicans saying medicare should wither on the vine? social security has no place in a free society? these are their words. these are their words. how we can go forward without hurting beneficiaries -- let me
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just take this to a different place. we have already addressed the issue of medicare. in the affordable care act by the projection that is are out there, we already have a savings of $1 trillion because of decisions that were made in the affordable care act. we took $700 billion as you well know. the republicans misrepresented in the campaign, but what that was was to reduce the rate of increase in our reimbursements to providers and to use that money to increase benefits for seniors, close the doughnut hole, have these wellness checkups without -- free of charge, encourage seniors to come in and get that done. what the republicans did, they said, oh, terrible. they are cutting medicare. no. reduce the cost of medicare but
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pour the savings back into medicare for beneficiaries. republicans took that same money to give tax cuts to the wealthiest people in the country. they campaigned against the savings and then used that money to give tax cuts to the wealthiest in one of their other manifestations of their budget. we have already gone down that path. as you see because largely because of the affordable care act, the projections for the increased cost in medicare now .4%. which is lowering the rate of increase for medicare, zero increase for medicaid. zero increase. so -- quite frankly any -- congressman ryan has about reducing -- balancing his budget which i think is a cruel and brutal budget, some of the ways he gets to balance are to be using a baseline that recognizes that the affordable care act reduced the cost of medicare
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increases. we understand, we care about medicare. we created it. we are there to protect it for our seniors. it is a pillar of health security for america's families, for our seniors in particular, but for others, people with disabilities who depend on medicare and medicaid, and same thing with social security. again what's your point? to those who would say we should raise the age, we should do this or that. what's your point? does it accomplish its goal? and at what cost in terms of the health of the good health of america? yes, sir. >> what would be the shame of raising the medicare eligibility age and strengthening the exchanges for the 65 to 67-year-olds? they still would have access to subsidized insurance?
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>> that's the whole point. there are no savings. so again we are talking about people want to raise the age and abolish the affordable care act. let's understand where our value system is here in terms of the good health of america. not just the good health care but the good health of america. >> yesterday speaker boehner said after the meeting with the president and thanked him for coming but then he went through a long list of items that they still have wide disagreements on. that was the sentiment from most house republicans who are leading. do you think this so-called charm offensive is really going to have any impact on the relationship between obama and house republicans? >> you really have to ask them. i don't think there is anything wrong with having disagreements. we have -- we come from two different approaches for example, the role of government. we don't want any more government than we need, but we
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respect the public role, public-private partnerships and putting a referee on the field, a cop on -- a referee for -- whether it's to monitor clean air, clean water, food safety, a cop on the beat, for the protection of our neighborhood. and by and large the approach -- the republicans take is that they are there to shrink the role of government to a point where really -- it calls to mind the statement of the president in washington who cautioned against a party, political party at war with its own government. so if you don't believe in government, then bless their hearts, they have act upon their beliefs. so all the legislation that we have, including the skills acts coming up, clean ericks clean water, food safety, fairness in terms of the workplace and the
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rights of working families should be heard. and the list goes on and on. clean ericks clean water, food safety, public safety, public education. they want to abolish the department of education. public transportation. public housing. public health. medicare. medicaid. social security. there is a fundamental difference as to the public role . again it shouldn't be any bigger than it needs to be. but the public role, why should you even pay taxes because we want to diminish government? this is a bigger difference than i have seen in a long -- i have never seen anything quite like it. i don't think anybody has seen it quite like it. that's why they say we'll have a sequester and the republicans say home run. shut down government. make my day. because they don't believe in the public role. and we believe that -- from the founding of our country,
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public-private partnerships and the entrepreneurial spirit that relationship engenders is a very important part of the success of our country. they say there are disagreements, yeah. there are. >> many republicans left that meeting yesterday with president obama, take away that president obama said it was a matter of time before they approved the keystone pipeline. would you disagree with the decision to approving the keystone pipeline if they ended up doing that? >> i wouldn't say it's a matter of time. did he announce his decision yesterday? >> a decision. >> would you disagree with the decision to approve it? >> i awakened this morning to an interview by somebody -- didn't
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awaken to it but it was on this morning on a station, i don't know how it got on to my radio, nonetheless, but -- must have been in the middle of the night i did something with the dial. they were interviewing somebody from the american petroleum institute. and he said, oh, this is going to be great. tens of thousands of jobs. that's not true. energy in our country, you know this is all for export. so whatever you think about it, i know i want to see what the report is from the state department on it and see what people are saying about it, but -- the oil is for export. there aren't that many jobs connected with it. but people believe that there are, let's just see what the report is. and that's what i have said. i want to see the report. what i heard on the radio this morning was, -- was so distorted
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in terms of what it was, i said why can't we just have a discussion on the facts? on the facts. tens of thousands of jobs. simply not true. we'll have to study it. >> the environmental impact would be almost negligible, considering that report's already out, would you disagree with the idea of approving the pipeline? >> i met with some legislators from canada the other day, and i said, you have two coasts, actually three. why aren't you taking this oil out through your own country? well, because the canadians don't want the pipeline in their own country. they want their own oil to be reaching export markets. so i think this is -- i haven't spent a lot of time on this issue because people in our caucus on different sides of it.
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and i don't intend to make a pronouncement about it today because i just haven't studied the thing. but since the president has said that a decision is imminent, i'll see what that is. but i just -- it just is amazing to me that they can say tens of thousands of jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. the oil is for export and the jobs are nowhere near that. would that it were. did the report say tens of thousands of jobs and reguse our dependence on foreign oil? probably didn't. did not. i thought not. anyway -- >> sustainable place in the next 10 years. do you agree with the statement?
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>> i believe we are on the path to reduce this as a deficit. and i would say that -- i would -- count me as one who would say i want us to be on a path to balance the budget in a number of decades. you can't do it in one decade. not after what we have been through. president clinton coming out of his administration we were on a path to serious deficit and debt reduction. after the explosion of the debt and in the bush years and the downturn in our economy and the meltdown of our financial institutions and the loss of revenue that that engendered, we are in place where the deficit is much bigger and 10 years you can't do it without hurting the middle class. but in terms of a path to balance hopefully the surplus, that's what i would like to see. i really don't like to comment on things that i'm hearing in isolation. i don't know how the president said that or in what context.
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but i do think that -- it might interest you to know, some of you have heard me say this, forgive me, but again you hear things so much, more than one time. in 1982 we had a midterm convention in philadelphia. the democrats had a midterm convention in philadelphia. congressman george miller of california, as you know, he had a resolution before the convention to have pay-as-you-go , the law of the land. pay as you go. it won in the convention. >> you can see this later in our program schedule. it's also in our video library at c-span.org. of the u.s. house is gaveling in momentarily for short speeches and later this afternoon they will move to a bill that consolidates job training programs and requires the
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federal government to reduce associated administrative jobs. we expect them to get into legislative work later this afternoon, about 3:45, after a visit from president obama. he's meeting with house democrats this afternoon at 2:15. and senate republicans at about 12:30, half an hour or sow. we'll take you live to the house floor here on c-span.
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the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered today by our guest chaplain, reverend ezekiel piper of hartland evangelical church, entral city, nebraska.
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the chaplain: our father in heaven, by your sovereign hand you make all nations, kingdoms and empires. you raise up their leaders and ordain the rules by which they govern. you alone are righteous in all your judgments, so it is you that we trust and desire to imitate. lord, help the honorable men and women of the house of representatives lead by persuasion, kindness and reason according to your scriptures. equip and guide them to craft laws, resolutions and amendments that will accomplish your will for our nation. by your spirit, help them carry out these noble responsibilities with wisdom and integrity. i also ask that you encourage their families this day. our savior, we eagerly await your return and your perfect
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justice and mercy. until that moment, grant us patience and help us be a good -- be of good courage and strong heart. e pray in jesus' name, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? mr. ellison: mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, i demand a vote on the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on agreing to the speaker's approval of the journal -- agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the journal stands approved. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. ellison: i -- i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed.
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the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison. mr. ellison: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: without objection, the gentleman from nebraska, mr. smith, is recognized for one minute. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i rise today to introduce dr. zeek pipe who are will serve as our guest chaplain today. zeke earned his master of divinity and his doctorate of ministry from gordon theological seminary. in addition to his work in the ministry, he is an avid out doorsman and author. his first book, "man on the run" was released last year and he is a regular contributer to several national outdoor magazines. he and his wife, jamie, have
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three children and live in central nebraska. and importantly, his favorite football team is the nebraska cornhuskers. it is my honor to welcome dr. piper. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair will entertain 15 further requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas rise? without objection, so ordered. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to bring attention to the e.p.a.'s recent disregard for our nation's food safety. two weeks ago i learned the e.p.a. released phone numbers, addresses and even geographic coordinates that were collected from livestock producers. this information was requested by extremist groups including earth justice and the natural resources defense council through a freedom of information act request. the e.p.a. handed over the very personal information. i have serious concerns about the potential threat these actions pose to the privacy of american farm families as well as the safety and security of our nation's food supply. mr. crawford: this is yet another example of the e.p.a.'s
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overreach into the lives of hardworking individuals in rural america. as chairman of the agriculture subcommittee on livestock, rural development and credit, i'm leading a group of 40 house members and writing a letter to the acting director of the peacekeep expressing our concern and asking the acting director to make sure the released information is not improperly used. mr. speaker, it's unacceptable for the e.p.a. to do anything that could jeopardize our nation's food security or threaten american farm operations. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? without objection, so ordered. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. the other day it became public that valerie harper, the star of rotas warks diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. and she publicly went forward with that and it was very touching. i saw her on the morning news and she talked about it and she said that she's doing chemotherapy. she has maybe three months, she doesn't know how much, to live,
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and she says if her husband says if they can slow this thing down, more stuff may come up. they're working fast and furiously for all of us. they're not working for valerie harper because she played rhoda but they're doing this for all cancer patients and the people that are doing this for all cancer patients are the doctors and the universities and the scientists that are funded by the national institute of health. all of which will get a 5.5% cut in their budget because of the squeft ration. this is another example of why it was wrong for us to let the squeft ration go into effect and why it's wrong for us not to make cuts that make sense. we need to put more and more dollars for cancer patients, for people with diabetes, people with alzheimer'ses, people with aids, people with illnesses that can and will be cured and that they can stay around for a little longer, they can come up with a cure and save people's lives. we don't need to defund or reduce the funding from the national institutes of health. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
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without objection, so ordered. >> north carolina, ninth district is blessed with many wonderful, hardworking educators. today like like to introduce you to one of them. dr. mark edwards who was named national superintendent of the year. since becoming superintendent in 2007, end of grade test scores have -- tests have soared. the graduation rate is now third highest in the state and morrisville has become a nationally recognized model for integrating technology into the classroom. these achievements are even more impressive when you consider that morrisville has one of the smallest budgets out of 115 school districts at north carolina. dr. edwards' work should be a remind that are strong leadership, dedicated teachers and proactive community involvement are the most important factors in the success of our students.
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not washington bureaucrats or programs. dr. edwards, on behalf of the people of north carolina's ninth district, great lakeses on your national award -- congratulations on your national award. may god continue to bless you and your work in morrisville. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. >> thank you, mr. speaker. congressman ryan's current budget proposal is a harsh austerity program that seeks to reduce the deficit on the backs of our nation's most vulnerable while only benefiting the special interests and the nation's ultrawealthy. under this plan, more than 30 million americans now covered by the affordable care act, including more than 70,000 residents of my district, would be at risk of losing their coverage. medicare as we know would cease to exist for more than five
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million future seniors and over 3 1/2 million seniors today would lose some of medicare's preventive courage. this plan also jeopardizes our nation's economic recovery. loan loan the economic policy stoo -- lone lone the economic policy -- mr. loan that will: this will reduce the g.d.p. by 1.7% and literally stal the economy through 2017. this isneath ar balance nor a rational approach that we need. i want to work with my colleagues here in the congress to pass a budget that creates jobs, grows the economy, strengthens the middle class and responsibly reduces the deficit. adly, this is not that plan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama rise? without objection, so ordered. >> thank you, mr. speaker. we recently learned that immigration and customs enforcement, also known as
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i.c.e., released thousands of illegal immigrants out of our detention if a similarities across the country in anticipation of the sequester cuts. not after the sequester became law or the cuts became reality. in anticipation. this is the latest in a string of lapses in judgment by i.c.e. director john morton. because it of his repeated questionable actions, i have called on mr. morton to resign. rather than making commonsense cuts like reducing administrative staffing, cutting overhead or taking other action, i.c.e. chose to release thousands of known criminals directly onto our streets and into our communities. i.c.e.'s justification for this plan is that those individuals will remain in a monitoring program while deportation proceedings are ongoing. really? it baffles me that i.c.e. officials continue to insist that someone who has already committed a crime by entering this country illegally would willingly participate in a monitored self-deportation
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program. the sequester has started an across the -- and across-the-board cuts will affect us all but we cannot stand by while i.c.e. makes irresponsible decisions. i call on john mortgagen to resign and make a full accounting of his debacle to the american people. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts ise? without objection, so ordered. mr. kennedy: thank you. good afternoon, mr. speaker. i rise on behalf of a special guest today. emmanuel. just 10 years old, emmanuel was selected as the grand prize winner in sco lass ticks national picture president art contest. his charcoal sketch of abraham lincoln earned him that distinguished honor as well as a 50-book library for his classroom at parker middle school and a trip to washington, d.c. emmanuel's teacher back home
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called him, quote, a great role model who, quote, is eager to learn and help other kids. he practices art drawing every day and hopes to someday pursue a career in art. today emmanuel is joined in the capitol by his father, eman well sr., his mother, karen, and his brother, diego. i would like to welcome him to washington and to congratulate emmanuel on making his school, his city and his state incredibly proud. congratulations, emmanuel. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the entleman from ohio rise? mr. johnson: request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. johnson: mr. speaker, it was just over a week ago that we learned that the white house is being closed to public tours. now, the president attempts to justify this decision saying it's a secret service decision. i find this disturbingly ironic coming there a president whose
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own website says it is his mission to, quote, open up the house to as many people as possible. unquote. that he is accepting without objection the decision to prevent the american people from accessing the house, the white house, their house, the people's house, even during some of the darkest days of america's history, our 16th president, abraham lincoln, championed a policy of true open doors to the white house and governmental transparency. contrast that with president obama who is acquiescing to the exact opposite, closing the white house doors to the public. if the president is unable to help the secret service manage an 8.2% budget cut and still keep the people's house open, then the american people are entitled to some answers from their chief executive. and with that i'd yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the entleman from new york rise? without objection, so ordered. mr. higgins: mr. speaker, the
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republican budget released earlier this week will move us in the wrong direction. it promises us growth through austerity, cutting $943 billion in discretionary spending. but history has proven that it just won't work. . we see when an economy is recovering from an reese significance, and embraces as you tirt, the economy crumbles. that's what happened in japan in the 1990's. that's what happened in this country in 1937. we must learn from this lesson. in fact, experts say that the republican budget will result in two million fewer american jobs and will decrease the economic growth by 1.7%. mr. speaker, what we have to do is invest in our economy, nation build here at home, in america, and this is a vehicle for
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growth. we should not be cutting those kinds of investments. austerity is short sight the and we should reject it. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from montana rise? mr. danes: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. danes: -- . mr. daines: mr. speaker, one of the best parts of my job is hearing from the people i serve in the great state of montana. and while one million montanans offer a lot of different ideas and a lot of different perspectives, there is one concern i hear about every day. thousands of montanans are reached out to my office because they are concerned about recent threats to their second amendment rights. let me be clear, i do not support any efforts that infringe upon montanans' right to keep and bear arms. i will continue to stand firm
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against any proposals that would threaten those rights. that's why i'm joining congressman steve stockman and many of my other colleagues in the house in signing a letter to speaker bane they're makes it clear that we and the people we represent are strongly opposed to any efforts that would violate the rights protected by the second amendment. we'll reflect that commitment in any vote on legislation that comes before us. whether it's the so-called universal background checks or sweeping bans of phi arms owned by thousands of law-abiding montanans, i will stand firm against any proposal that would threaten montana's right to keep and bear arms. i yield my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the entleman from delaware rise? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to remember judge williams who died recently at age 78. mr. carney: he was one of delaware's most prominent civil rights leaders and successful lawyer and judge in wilmington.
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he spent his life breaking barriers and paving the way for others. judge williams was one of the first african-american students to integrate the university of delaware. and the first african-american on its football team. judge williams was the long time law partner of louis reading, the wilmington lawyer who argued delaware brown vs. board of education case before the supreme court. he was a friend and mentor to countless members of our community. judge williams was part of the greatest generation of african-americans, those who fought the often lonely fight for civil rights and justice, enduring struggle and hard is to make our state and country a better place for everyone. his presence in the state of delaware and particularly in my home city of wilmington, will be sorely missed. my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute.
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revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, as a freshman i'm the first to make fun of myself and quite frankly both parties. it seems last session's budget negotiations consisted of democrats making videos of republicans throwing your grandmother off a cliff. a wonky republicans would be in the corner talking about the debt to g.d.p. rasheon' other things that most hardworking americans don't have time to think about our understand. let me tell you what we can all understand. republicans are doing what senate democrats have not done in years. we will pass another budget. so why does this matter to you? it matters because a balanced budget means jobs, opportunity, and ultimately more money in your pocket. more money in washington means less money for you. mr. raddle -- . mr. radel: being bipartisan, you know who understood that more
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than clin anyone was president bill clinton. and with the republican house the budget was balance. we conservatives are working hard to balance that budget today for your opportunity and your job. we are here working for you. thank you. i yield my time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the the gentlewoman from hawaii rise? ms. hanabusa: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. hanabusa: mr. speaker, the republican budget sometimes called the ryan budget also called the path to prosperity is really more of the same. more of the same that we have seen for the past three years. the only difference is it's worse. it's worse. the budget is supposed to be the blueprint and sets forth the philosophy and policy of the majority. look at some of the problems. there's many of them. let's concentrate on seniors. see how it affects them. the voucher is back. medicare cost also rise for seniors. there is no closing of the
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doughnut hole anymore for your prescription drugs because obamacare is repealed. and we are going to lose $810 billion in medicaid which is a cut of 1/3. and 2/3 of it goes to disabled and seniors. yet the irony is that the majority says it repeals obamacare. yet it keeps $716 billion in medicare savings, and all revenues from obamacare puts $1 trillion. so $ trillion of its balancing the so-called budget is on the backs of obamacare. obamacare that it says it repeals. this cannot be what this body wants to be identified with. a path to nowhere. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana rise? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. it's hard for president obama to
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find a solution when he doesn't understand the problem. this week he told abc news that he he doesn't believe that our country faces a debt crisis. yesterday senate democrats outlined a budget that never balances but sinks us further and further into debt year after year. the american people understand that nearly $17 trillion of debt is no way to run a country. mr. stutzman: hoosiers know that every penny washington borrows today will be taken from taxpayer pockets tomorrow. folks back home know this and so do house republicans. that's why i'm proud to support the budget my friend and colleague, chairman ryan, introduced this week. mr. speaker, this budget actually balances in 10 years. something our democrat colleagues' budget in the senate never does. it never balances. mr. speaker, our budget encourages economic growth and promotes opportunity for all americans. by simply filing the tax code, scaling back government overreach, and strengthening the promises made to seniors, our
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budget puts this country on a responsible balanced path. i commend chairman ryan and the house budget committee for their work. yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does -- >> address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. mrs. davis: while it is time to debate the budget again, but despite the differences in this chamber, we could come together and choose to invest in our middle class. we could compromise and responsibly reduce spending while protecting the most vulnerable. we could reach across the aisle and protect the jobs of our teachers, police office oers, while ending the ludicrous tax loopholes for oil companies. but instead, instead we see another case of political gamesmanship. instead of providing targeted tax cuts to working class families, the republican budget increases tax breaks for the wealthiest in the country at the
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expense of middle income taxpayers who will pay an average of $2,000 per family. instead of solidifying the safety net for our seniors, the republican budget guts it by trading medicare into a voucher program and instead of healing our still fragile housing market, the republican budget refuses to protect the mortgage interest deductions that our middle class families depend upon. what we should be doing is working together to put the american dream back within the reach for our middle class. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas rise? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i have made it a priority since day one to support pro-growth, pro-job legislation that encourages entrepreneurship and sports innovation. mr. yoder: all in the name of
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strengthening our economy and making certain the remains globally competitive and is the place where the hardest working and best minds exist. to remain competitive we must continue to have the best trained work force in the world. quite often programs in washington, d.c., are cumbersome and difficult to use. we must all endeavor to make the federal government more efficient and effective. that's why today, mr. speaker, i rise in approval of the skills act and encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense legislation that will eliminate burdensome and frustrating roadblocks that preventout of work americans from accessing beneficial work force development programs and job skills training efforts that will only help our national economy. mr. speaker, everyone must have a chance to succeed in our current economy. a chance to realize the american dream. let's pass the skills act so we can work together. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida rise?
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without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for ne minute. mrs. wilson: mr. speaker, mr. ryan's budget would cost millions of people to lose access to health care and tens of millions more to lose their jobs. my question is simple, why? i have been here 802 days and we have not considered a serious jobs bill yet. there are approximately 12 million people unemployed. it's unemployment not debt that's at emergency levels when people lose their jobs they lose their dignity, they lose their health care, and eventually lose their home. shame, shame, shame. there is only one responsible way to reduce the deficit, get everyone trained, get everyone working, and get everyone contributing to the tax base.
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people are hurting. people are suffering. they want an opportunity. mr. speaker, our mantra should be jobs, jobs, jobs. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the rise?man from wowed, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today in opposition to the republican budget proposal that's soon-to-be considered by the house. ms. titus: the policies therein were debated and soundly rejected in the last election. in las vegas and across the country americans made it clear that our budget should be a path forward for a strong middle class and a serious investment in the next generation. instead, the republican budget shrinks investment in
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infrastructure and education, cuts funding to research and development, eliminates the safety net for our most vulnerable, and ends the medicare guarantee. furthermore, it should include a question mark or a giant asterisk because so many aspects of it railroad vague and so many details are missing. this budget isn't a path to prosperity. it's a collection of inconsistent assumptions and mathematical gimmicks. it's full of phantom revenue and undelineated cuts. people in my district, district one of nevada, want congress to pass a budget that represents a balanced approach, not one based on partisan ideology that's out of touch with their priorities. so i say let's get to work on that. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the the gentlewoman from hawaii rise? ms. gabbard: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute.
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ms. gabbard: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise today to highlight some of the unique immigration challenges that we face. the good news is washington is finally focused on fixing this very complex issue. comprehensive reform is crucial to our families, young people, and our economy. in hawaii for example filipino families often wait up to 24 years to reunite with their loved ones. we are a community of immigrants. immigrants who came to hawaii seeking greater opportunity, who toil in day in and day out working in our pineapple fields and sugar plantations and yet many are still waiting to be reunited with their loved ones. this is unacceptable and unnecessary. it also hurts our economy with small businesses face unnecessary draconian audits and automatic labeling as fraudent businesses simply do to their size, stifling their ability to grow and create jobs. we must address these unique immigration issues in hawaii, across the pacific, and across
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the country as part of our national reform legislation in order to reunite families and grow our economy. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the the gentlewoman from california rise ? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. hahn: thank you, mr. speaker. march is women's history month and so i'd like to point out that this week the republicans and chairman paul ryan once again put forth a budget that hurts women. there's no morality in a budget that takes food from the mouths of struggling women and children while slashing taxes for millionaires and billionaires. these attacks on breast cancer research, on child care, on the affordable care act for families, on maternal health and on education are not what we owe our mothers, our sisters and our daughters. make no mistake, women,
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especially poor women, will shoulder the burdens of these cuts. at a time when so many americans are struggling just to make ended meet, we must do more -- ends meet, we must do more, not less, to provide a strong safety net for all americans. i call on my colleagues to support a budget that provides compassion of the government, to help american women in need and invest in the future that they deserve. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, while i recognize that this republican budget is just a political document that will never become law, i am still disappointed at what a cynical, cruel and dishonest document it is. it's cynical because it repeals the protections and benefits of
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the affordable care act while keeping in place all of the cost savings in order to pay for another tax cut for millionaires. mr. hinojosa: it's cruel because it would gut medicaid, a program designed to protect our most vulnerable seniors from sickness and death by over $800 billion. this budget would slash pell grants for students, food assistance for the needy families and head start school programs for children. most of all, it's simply a dishonest document. my republican friends claim that their budget will cut taxes and balance the budget. they say they will pay for it all with trillions of dollars in savings from closing tax loopholes but the budget conveniently refuses to name any of them. mr. speaker, we should reject this budget and its misplaced priorities. i urge my colleagues to support the democratic alternative which presents a bald way to bringing down our deficit that doesn't leave our seniors at risk. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today in strong opposition to the republican budget proposal. this plan hurts the middle class, repeals health care for millions of americans and does nothing to guarantee seniors the benefits they earned and have been promised. mr. veasey: this offers no new rule solutions. this is the third time this plan has been introduced, even though the country clearly rejected it this past november. congress needs to listen to the american people and work together on responsible, long-term solutions. the house republican plan has devastating consequences for seniors, our parents and our grandparents. the republican budget turns medicare into an expensive private insurance program for seniors. our country made a commitment to care for our parents and grandparents and it's important we uphold that commitment.
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let's not forget that one day our kids will grow older and will depend on these vital programs. we need to balance our budget and reduce the deficit, but we must not do so on the backs of our middle class and our seniors. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the house will stand in recess subject to the call of
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and his opening comments this morning on the senate floor. >> i asked senate democrats to put forward thoughtful budget that americans are both -- of both parties could rally around. that controls spending, gets our economy healthy again and advances the serious reforms necessary to make government programs more efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of the americans. i asked them to please shelf the
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tax hikes. that's because we understand the negative effect more taxes would have on our fragile economy and the millions of americans still looking for work. it's also because we know washington democrats already got $600 million in taxes they demanded earlier this year. and remember, that's in addition to the more than $1 trillion they got in taxes from obamacare as well. so now it's time for the balance they promised. washington doesn't need to tax more. it needs to finally figure out how to spend less. i said these things were the least senate democrats owed the american people, given their lack of responsibility in not producing a budget for the last four years. i'm sorry to report that the plan they put forward yesterday will do none of these things. none of them. instead of getting washington spending under control, their proposed budget doubles down on the same wasteful stimulus
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spending we already know doesn't work. we tried that. in fact, at a time when americans believe about half of every dollar they send to washington is wasted, the democratic budget would increase spending by nearly 62%. their budget will do more harm to the economy than to help it. and it will let medicare and social security drift ever closer to bankruptcy. and then there's the democrats' $1.5 trillion tax hike. that's trillion with a "t." let me just repeat that. any senator who votes for that budget is voting for a $1.5 trillion tax hike, the largest tax hike in american history. so the senate democrat budget is more than just disappointing. it's extreme. extreme. it's really one of the most extreme, most left-wing budgets of the modern era. it says something, i think, about today's washington
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democrat. there was a time when the democratic party cared about fiscal responsibility, when democrats understood the need to be concerned about the impact their policies would have on hardworking taxpayers, a time when they would have rejected this budget as a joke. a joke. but those voices of reason have been mostly chased out of today's d.c. democrats. the few who remain have been sidelined and silenced throughout the budget process. even the chairman of the finance committee has been pushed aside so his fellow democrats can quickly ram through their massive tax hike. so it will be no surprise to hear that my conference opposes this left-wing manifesto masquerading as a responsible budget. and when americans get a chance to digest their budget and the one house republicans put forward earlier this week, they'll see some very clear differences between a budget that balances and one that
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enshrines waste and cronyism. between a budget that helps bring the economy back to health and one that kills jobs. between a budget that measures compassion and how many people it helps and one that counts compassion and how many hard-earned tax dollars are sent to washington for politicians to waste, between a budget that strengthens medicare and one that would put medicare even further out of reach for future generations. in short, it will see a bold reformist republican budget centered on their needs and an extreme democratic budget centered on the needs of washington bureaucrats and politicians. i hope senate democrats think again before they choose to pass such an extreme budget forward, because i think they'll find americans agree with republicans on the most important point. e need to grow the economy,
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>> on the floor earlier today talking about the 2014 budget. the senate gavels back in at 2:00 eastern. that will be on c-span 3. in c-span, in about 45 minutes or so, 50 minutes, we're going to take you live to the first day of the conservative political action conference. they are meeting in washington with speeches from a number of republican leaders, including senator marco rubio and rand paul. our coverage this afternoon at 1:15 eastern here on c-span. >> good afternoon. senator reid, thank you for allowing me to speak.
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first we're in the middle of our budget markup and we're going to get back to that in just a few minuteses but i wanted to come in and tell all of that you the senate budget reflects the pro growth, pro middle class agenda that the american people went to the polls and supported last november. our budget is built on three principles. number one, we need to protect our fragile economic recovery, we need to create jobs and we need to invest in long-term growth. number two, we need to tackle our deficit and debt fairly and responsibly and number three, we need to keep the promises we've made as a nation to our seniors, to our families and to our communities. now, the senate budget takes us the rest of the way to the $4 trillion goal we all know about it and beyond. it builds on the 2.4 trillion in deficit reduction that was already done. we add an additional $1.85 trillion in new deficit reduction for a total of $4.25 trillion in deficit reduction
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since the simpson-bowles report. this is a jobs and economic growth budget. we believe that with the unemployment rate that remains stubbornly high and a middle class that has seen their wages stagnate for toong, we cannot afford any threats to our fragile recovery. that's why our budget uses equal amounts of responsible spending cuts and new revenue from the wealthiest americans to fully replace the cuts from sequestration that threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs this year and cuts that will endanger our economic growth for years to come. the senate budget is a balanced and it is a responsible approach. now, the house of representatives is also working on their budget resolution as you know and there are serious differences between the visions and the values and the priorities within our two approaches. but the american people are going to have an opportunity to examine these budgets side by side. they are going to be able to
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decide which approach is best for our economy, best for our jobs and best for the middle class. and they'll let us know whether they want us to go back down the path of trickledown policies that decimated our middle class and threw our economy into a tailspin or if they would prefer our approach we've seen work before, tackle our deficit responsibly, reinvest in our middle class, build a strong foundation for growth and restore the promise of american opportunity. we are in our budget markup now, we are considering dozens of amendments this afternoon so senator reid, i will go back to that. but we will be on the floor next week and we will work to get this budget out of the senate in a responsible way. thank you very much. >> during my athletic days i played baseball. i always wanted to bat cleanup and i was lucky to make it in the lineup, i never batted cleanup. so, dick, you go next. ok? [laughter] >> you have to say this for congressman paul ryan. he is consistent.
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unfortunately being consistently wrong doesn't earn you any points when it comes to helping senior citizens across america. paul ryan's budget for fiscal year 2014 is as bad fozz seniors as his budget -- bad for seniors as his budget last year and the year before that. paul ryan's budget is march madness when it comes to seniors. thankfully the american people have already made it clear that they reject paul ryan's approach and that the house republicans' brazen attempt to balance the budget on the backs of seniors is unacceptable. this year's budget isn't a path to prosperity for america's seniors, it's a path to poverty. the ryan budget included an ill-conceived, unclear scheme to shift more medicare costs to seniors. once again ryan medicare voucher schemes are short on details. we don't know exactly how much more seniors will pay out of pocket, but here's what we do know. if it follows his budget, ryan plans to replace medicare's
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guarantee of coverage with a voucher program that beneficiaries could use to purchase private health insurance or they can join some version of traditional medicare. in my state of illinois, 1.8 million seniors would be forced out of traditional medicare and into a voucher program under the paul ryan approach. this voucher program will force seniors back home in my state to pay more for the care that they worked their entire lives to take care of. here's what else we know. private health insurance companies will go after enrolling the healthiest beneficiaries, leaving medicare to care for the sickest. most of the at-risk seniors. this will cripple medicare. and make seniors around the country pay that much more. under the ryan plan, 3 1/2 million seniors across the country and 133,000 in illinois would may more for prescription drugs next year. 37 million seniors across the country and 1.4 million in illinois would be forced to now pay for preventive health services under paul ryan's
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budget. that's the real impact of his policies. just last year c.b.o. laid out some possible outcomes of shifting to this premium support. here's what they say. it will reduce access to health care and diminish the quality of care. c.b.o. also said beneficiaries might face higher costs. the budget offered by senator murray strengthens and preserves medicare for future generations. according to c.b.o., medicare will spend $500 billion less through 2020 when compared to their 2010 estimate. this means incidentally the affordable care act is saving money. and yesterday i believe congress reaffirmed the affordable care act when an amendment was offered to abolish it. there are ways to modernize medicare, ways to reform it, ways to make it more efficient and do that without harming beneficiaries. paul ryan knows it but he chooses to ignore it. instead he has a plan that would make seniors fend for themselves against insurance companies and spend higher and higher percentage of their income on prescription drugs
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and they wouldn't receive the care that they need because they just couldn't afford it. that may be paul ryan's vision for america but it is march madness. it is not my vision for america, and it's not the america that our seniors want and deserve. >> thank you, dick. and dick and paddy have talked about the value choices and the difference between the ryan budget and the budget that we're supporting. but there's another issue. the ryan budget just doesn't add up. it does not reduce the deficit in 10 years. when you impose deep cuts on medicare and gut programs that help the middle class and then turn around and give huge tax breaks to millionaires, that's a value choice. but congressman ryan is also claiming a different kind of balance. he says that by 2023 his plan will bring outlays in revenues into total balance and reduce annual deficits to zero. what hasn't been focused on is that that's just that true.
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-- not true. would his budget truly achieve balance? only if you believe in magic. the truth is congressman ryan's fiscal plan relies on a lot of budgetary sleight of hand in order to create the illusion of a balanced budget. the document is filled with deceptive gimmicks, far-fetched assumptions and phony arithmetic. the d.p. -- dpcc has put out a report, it's called paul ryan's hocus pocus budget. the house g.o.p.'s five magic tricks that create the optical illusion of a balanced budget. among the magic tricks ryan performs, presto, he proposes that more than $4.5 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest americans, yet claims this won't add to the deficit. ryan would cut the top rate from 39.6% to 25%.
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independent experts say that the only way to achieve tax cuts on this scale in a deficit-neutral way would be to eliminate the middle class credits and deductions. the avage tax increase for middle class families would be $1,300. does ryan really plan to follow through with such a major tax hike on middle class families? hardly. but the alternative is to add $4.5 trillion to the deficit and eliminate any chance of balancing the budget in 10 years. second, he has unrealistically rosie assumptions about tax and spending levels. for instance, despite the massive tax cut rate that ryan is promising to the nation's top earners, he claims that revenue levels would average around 19% of g.d.p. during the 10-year budget window. the independent tax policy center begs to differ. they found that assuming ryan doesn't plan to raise middle class taxes for his rate cut,
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total revenue under the ryan budget would be 15.5%. this discrepancy creates a $7 trillion revenue hole, the tax gap would leave the ryan budget $1.2 trillion short of balance in the 10th year. third, ryan claims $716 billion in medicare savings from the affordable care act. despite promising to repeal that law. of course congressman ryan campaigned with mitt romney throughout the fall, criticizing the president and congressional democrats for making cuts to medicare. they falsely claimed that these reforms would cut medicare and hurt seniors. yet now ryan has once again -- is once again using the same savings to help his baseline. he publicly acknowledges he is cherry picking this $716 billion in savings in his budget because it makes it easier for him to make the math work. but you can't say, well, i'm going to eliminate obamacare and then say, but i'm still
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going to gain the $716 billion. and to take one more example, the $810 billion in medicaid savings that ryan cites are not savings at all. they're just costs transferred onto the state tabs. by blocking -- by block granting the program he doesn't bring efficiency to the program, simply shifts the burden. so, this is just the beginning of the fuzzy math, the details are all outlined in this report. the bottom line is, ryan -- the ryan budget is anything but balanced. certainly not in the sense we democrats mean but not even by his own sense of balance to. make the numbers line up, congressman has had to resort on creative accounting and several policy flip flops. upon closer inspection, his claims about achieving a balanced budget in 10 years quickly go up in smoke.
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and now for the las vegas sun. >> we're going to get a new name. >> for the las vegas baseball team. >> call it 51 but that's not a good name. named after area 51. it doesn't exist. [laughter] i'm sorry that paddy's not here to hear me say publicly how proud i am of her. she had some big shoes to fill. kent was an economic guru. he was very, very good. patty murray has stepped into this budget foray and done wonderfully. i'm very, very happy with her budget and the one reason i'm happy about her budget is it reflects how we used to do things around here. during the clinton era. we're going back to that, that's what barack obama's been trying to do with us. patty murray's budget gives a really guideline to do that.
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where we have the ability to reduce the deficit. as we all know, we have to make a few investments and she does that. all the economists, all the economists say you can't continue cutting, cutting, cutting your way to prosperity. we've done very well with what we've been able to do to have a government that is doing better, a country that's doing better economically. we have a long ways to go. and murras dg p us in the right direction. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> senate democratic leaders from within the hour talking about the 2014 budget proposal. just an update, the senate budget committee will resume their deliberations, marking up the 2014 proposed budget. you can follow that on c-span 3 beginning at about 2:00 p.m. eastern. here on c-span, in about 20 minutes or so, we'll take you live to the first day of the o
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political action conference to hear from senators marco rubio and rand paul. that will be at 1:15 eastern. also today on capitol hill, the senate judiciary committee passed on a party line vote of 10-8 s. 150, a bill that ends the importation and manufacture, 157 specifically named guns, as well as large capacity ammunition magazines. ahead that have vote this morning, senators dine feinstein and ted cruz and others engaged in a discussion on the constitutionality of the proposed assault weapons ban. >> if i might pose a question to the senior senator from california. to the senior senator from california. you mentioned that there's some 100 pages of the bill that specify particular firearms that if this bill were passed, congress would have deemed prohibited. firearms if this bill were passed congress would have deemed prohibited. it seems to me that all of us should begin as our
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foundational document with the constitution. and the second amendment in the bill of rights provides the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. the term the right of the people. it's found in the first amendment. the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition their government for grievances, it's found in the fourth amendment, the right of the people to be found unreasonable from searches and seizures. and the question i pose to the senator from california, would she deem it consistent with the bill of rights for congress to engage in the same endeavor that we are contemplating doing with the second amendment in the context of the first or fourth amendment, namely, would she consider it constitutional for congress to specify that the first amendment shall apply only to the following booksnd shall not apply to the books that congress has deemed outside the protection of the
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bill of rights? likewise, would she think that the fourth amendment's protection against searches and seizures could properly apply only to the following specified individuals and not to the individuals that congress has deemed outside the protection of the bill of rights? >> would the senator yield for a question? >> let me just make a couple of points in response. one, i'm not a sixth grader. senator, i've been on this committee for 20 years. i was a mayor for nine years. i walked in, i saw people shot. i've looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. i've seen the bullets that implode. in sandy hook, youngsters were dismembered. look, there are other weapons. i've been up -- i'm not a lawyer, but after 20 years i've been up close and personal to the constitution. i have great respect for it. this doesn't mean that weapons of war and the heller decision clearly points out three
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exceptions, two of which are pertinent here. and so i -- you know, it's fine you want to lecture me on the constitution. i appreciate it. just know i've been here for a long time. i've passed on a number of bills. i've studied the constitution myself. i am reasonably well educated, and i thank you for the lecture. incidentally, this does not prohibit -- you use the word prohibit. it exempts 2,271 weapons. isn't that enough for the people in the united states? do they need a about a -- bazooka? do they need military weapons to kill people in close contact? i don't think so. i come from a different place than you do. i respect your views. i ask you to respect my views. >> mr. chairman -- >> senator is out of time. >> mr. chairman, i can't add
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anything to that. >> senator cruz. >> mr. chairman, i would ask yet another question of the senior senator from california. i think nobody doubts her sincerity or her passion and yet at the same time i would note that she chose not to answer the question that i asked. which is, in her judgment, would it be consistent with the constitution for congress to specify which books are permitted and which books are not and to use the -- >> the answer is obvious -- no. >> and if i may ask -- >> could we keep on the -- i appreciate we have a discussion on books. i know that they have that in your state of texas where educational board tells people what books they should or should not read in their schools. something we would not do in vermont. we are not going to talk about your right. let's stick to guns. >> let me just -- >> mr. chairman, i appreciate
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your acknowledging that the state of tk allows books. i would specify a little more broadly. >> pornography books. >> protected by the first amendment. >> it's obviously there are different tests on different amendments. and i think what the senator is going to point out was something that didn't occur to me at the moment. there are certain kinds of pornographic materials that would not be covered by the first amendment. >> and is it the view of the senior senator from california that congress should be in the business of specifying particular books or for that matter with respect to the fourth amendment particular individuals who are not covered by the bill of rights? >> sir, congress is in the business of making law. the supreme court interprets the law. they strike down the law, they strike down the law. the tests in heller with respect to unusual weapons, two other things i think do not cover -- in other words, they cover an exemption for assault weapons. if this is brought up before if this is brought up before the